At 24 and single, the last thing I wanted was to be pregnant
Being 24 and single the last thing I wanted was to find out I was pregnant. I had a feeling I was but I was still having periods and so I ignored all the signs.
By the time I took a test I was already around 9 weeks gone.
I knew almost instantly it was the right decision for me, without a steady career or even a partner around I knew I couldn't do it.
That said I did still use a lot of resources on the internet such as the BPAS website to make sure it really was the right decision and not rushed.
As I wasn't registered with a doctor I went to a local walk-in clinic, it was literally a two-minute appointment where she gave me a leaflet with the number on in order to book an appointment.
Although I was and still am 100% happy with my decision it did worry me just how easy this process was seeming to be.
There wasn't a question of why I wanted this or information given regarding my other options.
After calling the number and being given an appointment I was happy to find out it was only going to be a 10 day wait and I could have the consultation and the procedure on the same day.
The day came and although I was nervous, especially as I went alone, it really wasn't such a daunting prospect.
The staff from reception to the counsellor to the doctor were all very friendly.
At first, I was taken in with a counsellor who asked me why I wanted the procedure and confirmed weight and height.
I was then taken in to see the doctor who carried out a scan. The doctor was extremely friendly and put me at ease. I was a little shocked at how there wasn't a real effort to hide the scan picture from me as I didn't really want to see this but he was extremely understanding so I feel that was maybe just an oversight on his part.
After the scan, I was told that I was 11 weeks gone and that the surgical/vacuum abortion under general anaesthetic was the only option.
Once the doctor had seen me I was taken over to the clinic where I confirmed some more details with a nurse. This is the part where the nerves started to kick in as I'd never been put under general anaesthetic before and I'd always been scared of needles.
Once all the details and medical history were confirmed I was taken to a room and given a bag for all my belongings and a gown to change into. I was then taken into another room with a nurse and two doctors.
I can't express how good all of the staff in this room were, so friendly that all my fear was actually gone.
He was about to put the needle into my hand when I explained that I'm scared of needles, he made small talk with me while he placed the canula and honestly aside from the tiniest pinch it didn't hurt.
I was then given an oxygen mask and wheeled into another room, before getting to that room the anaesthetic kicked in and I was out for the count.
I woke up in another room with a nurse next to me, she asked me how I was and explained that the procedure was over but I would be monitored in this room for half an hour or so until the anaesthetic had worn off.
As I was still a little confused after the anaesthetic I asked a couple more times when I was having the procedure and each time she calmly explained it was already done.
Once I came round fully my blood pressure was taken and it was taken again about 15 minutes later before I was put into a wheelchair and taken to the ward where I had to sit in a reclining chair for around 20 minutes.
They had a glass of water waiting and the nurses constantly checked that I was feeling OK and wasn't feeling any pain.
At this point I would just like to say that I really wasn't in much pain, very very slight cramping that was lighter than my usual period pains.
After these 20 minutes I was told I could go and change and could then go to the dining room where they had a sandwich prepared that you select earlier in the consultation process.
After another 20 minutes or so in the dining room I was taken in to another nurse to be discharged. She gave me antibiotics and explained everything to me for post-care and possible complications and gave me a 24 hour number to call should there be any problems.
A few hours later and I still only have very slight pain, as scary as the thought was to me I'm still certain that it was the right decision.
I really would urge anyone who is considering an abortion to do the research on all their options themselves though because as helpful and friendly as the nurses and doctors were, there was never any talk of another option for myself and I do worry about just how easy the process was because as much as I know I made the right decision I know there are others out there who probably aren't quite as certain.
This story was sent in on 03/01/2012